courses > 2017 fall

Elective Courses


ARTH 289 | ENGL 292
601 | SEM | Valerie Ross | W 5-8pm | FBH 201

Sofia Coppola is one of the few female directors to be nominated for an Academy Award (Lost in Translation). She has written and directed five feature films: Virgin Suicides (1999); Lost in Translation (2003); Marie Antoinette (2006); Somewhere (2010); Bling Ring (2013); and A Very Murray Christmas (2015), and has a sixth (Beguiled) in post-production. Herself a daughter of the great filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, Sofia Coppola has been the subject of intense scrutiny and criticism and, since Marie Antoinette, has been dividing critics in terms of whether her films are brilliant or superficial. We will explore what it means for a woman director to be working in the very masculinized domain of Indiewood cinema, and to be the daughter of a famous filmmaker, and how these inform the reception of her work by critics and scholars. Finally, we will approach Coppola as an auteur, considering the extent to which her films express her individual personality and signature through such things as thematic and stylistic consistency. We will also consider the degree to which her films are in dialogue with film history as well as with  contemporary indie male-dominated "schools" of film (e.g., quirky, smart, blank and feminist film scholarship.